Supplied renderings of proposed stadiums.Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced Allianz and ANZ stadiums will be rebuilt and transformed into world-class facilities, keeping NRL Grand Finals in Sydney for at least the next 25 years.?? Ms Berejiklian said the investment would ensure NSW remains the number one destination for major sporting and entertainment events.NSW Labor is demanding to know how much taxpayer funding has been promised to three sporting clubs based at Moore Park to compensate them while a new stadium is built.
The Berejiklian government announced last week that it would spend about $2 billion to replace Allianz Stadium at Moore Park and ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park.
Eighteen months ago, the three clubs – the Roosters (rugby league), Sydney FC (A-League soccer) and NSW Waratahs (rugby union) – warned loudly that being without a home stadium for years would have a disastrous impact on their business.
But the three clubs last week all welcomed the decision to build a new stadium at Moore Park, even though this would dislocate them for two or more years.
The change of heart by the clubs has prompted questions about how much taxpayers’ support they have been promised.
“The NSW government should reveal how much they’re compensating these clubs and if there’s more to come,” said NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley, who is also a Roosters fan.
“The Berejiklian government has opened up the pot of gold for these clubs because of their ineptitude at unnecessarily upgrading both stadiums at the same time,” Mr Foley said.
“That’s less money for desperately needed schools and hospitals,” said the Labor leader, who has been campaigning on the issue at schools.
Last year, Waratahs chairman Roger Davis put the compensation bill for the three tenants at Allianz Stadium at up to $150 million if they were to be moved during construction.
“You’re talking about $600 million on a new stadium many would say you don’t need, then you’re talking about $100-$150 million in compensation,” Mr Davis toldThe n in March (paywall).
Mr Davis said the Waratahs had compensation clauses in their lease with the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust.
“We have a lease with the Trust for 16 years,” he said. “Why you would sign it for 16 if you’re going to be gone for four is a different issue.”
The three clubs said in a joint statement in April last year they would require “major levels of compensation” if their stadium was out of action for up to four years.
After the three clubs endorsed the stadium plan announced last week, The Sydney Morning Herald asked them about potential compensation.
In an email, a spokesman for Sydney FC said: “Compensation was discussed and will be worked through in the fullness of time.”
Other than that, the clubs have not addressed the issue.
The Herald asked Sports Minister Stuart Ayres whether any compensation for the three clubs would come on top of the $705 million allocated for the construction of the new stadium at Moore Park.
A spokeswoman for Mr Ayres said: “Fixtures for content displaced during the construction of both ANZ and Allianz Stadium will be determined by clubs and codes as is currently the case during the construction of the Western Sydney Stadium.”
One source said compensation for the affected tenants at Allianz could come via favourable future venue-hire agreements with the SCG Trust.
Another option might be government support to establish “high performance centres” in the nearby Entertainment Quarter.
The neighbouring Centennial and Moore Park Trust is running an expression of interest for the operation of the Hordern Pavilion and Royal Hall of Industries.
Chairman of the SCG Trust Tony Shepherd has said he would be “be happy to see the Swans or Roosters use the Hordern (or RHI), but that decision is up to other authorities.”
The Swans play at the adjacent Sydney Cricket Ground.
The n Institute of Architects, meanwhile, has criticised the proposal for two new stadiums.
“To demolish, rather than refurbish, seems like an extraordinary waste,” NSW chapter president Andrew Nimmo said.